Remarks With Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
October 2, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Well, good morning, everybody. It’s my distinct pleasure to welcome the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who I have known for many, many years. I first met him when he was a student in Boston at Tufts University, Fletcher, and we’ve seen each other many times since in my journeys to Vietnam and in his work over here.

It’s fair to say that in the first year of our comprehensive partnership, we have now made significant progress on the civilian 123 nuclear program, on the Proliferation Security Agreement, as well as on economic and other issues that are important to both of our countries.

And we still have things that we’re working on. One of the things that we want to try to conclude is the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and Vietnam is working very hard with us in order to be able to do that. We continue to talk about issues in the bilateral relationship – human rights, economic development, private company ability to be able to do business. These are all important things. And I look forward to a good discussion today, and I’m delighted to welcome Pham Binh Minh here to have this dialogue.

Thank you. Thank you, sir.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER MINH: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: Want to say anything?

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER MINH: Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for inviting me to visit officially the United States. Since the establishment of the comprehensive partnership, we have recorded many achievements in all fields – economic, political, security, defense, and other areas.

So I come to United States today to meet and to work with U.S. colleagues to review the bilateral relations between the two countries. I’m looking forward to have the fruitful discussions on bilateral issues, how to deepen our relation, and also discuss the regional and international issues of our mutual interest. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, sir, very much. Thank you. Thank you all very much.